WC Qual - UEFA
September 7, 2012
Finland v France: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
Didier Deschamps is not prepared to play the role of "nursery teacher'' to his troubled France squad despite their disruptive behaviour at recent championships.
Les Bleus' mission to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 begins with a trip to Finland in Group I tomorrow night, but the new national coach will not resort to treating his players like children to ensure good behaviour.
After a dismal World Cup campaign in 2010 descended into farce with a clutch of senior French internationals going on strike, four players found themselves facing disciplinary events following unseemly conduct at this year's European Championships.
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri is serving a three-match international ban for abusing a reporter with Jeremy Menez banned for one game for insulting the referee during Les Bleus' quarter-final exit to Spain.
Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M'Vila, who are not in the squad to face Finland, were also warned over minor incidents during the defeat to the world and European champions.
Deschamps, who replaced Laurent Blanc at the helm in July, told fff.fr: "We need to create a bond of trust.
"But I am not there to say 'You can't do this, you must do that'. They are not children.
"I am not a nursery teacher or working at a school.''
The 43-year-old former Juventus boss instead wants his charges to find unity through tradition as he searches for a first win in charge.
He added: "I would like them all to sing La Marseillaise (the French National anthem). It is symbolic.
"But the most important thing is your attitude while you're listening to it.''
Despite Deschamps' confidence that the deep cracks in morale will slowly start to heal across his fractured squad, a few fitness concerns linger ahead of the journey to Helsinki.
"The difficulty we have is four players who are a little bit off the pace,'' he added.
"Laurent (Koscielny) played his last 90 minutes in that game against Spain. He has played little since then. He was doing well but suddenly he had to stop.
"Adil (Rami) has had little time to prepare, that's a concern.
"There are two other players (Mapou Yango-Mbiwa and Mamadou Sakho) who have less international experience but have played full games for their clubs.''
The Finns are now under the stewardship of ex-Hibernian manager Mixu Paatelainen who faces a stern test to guide his nation to victory in a group that also contains Spain, as well as Belarus and Georgia.
Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Alexander Ring should win his 10th cap tomorrow as he lines up alongside the experienced Eremenko brothers of Rubin Kazan, Alexei and Roman.
The Eagles' Euro 2012 qualifying performance started badly, with three consecutive defeats, and the Scandinavians have never qualified for a major international tournament.